Monday, January 03, 2011

Lipiodol flush: May help you increase your chances to conceive

The tip I am sending out today is very exciting for me to share because it has recently appeared to have helped couples who have dealt with unexplained fertility as well as endometriosis issues for several years. So if you or someone you know is dealing with this issue hopefully it will help you and or them create that life you long for

About 6 or 7 years ago I read about a study on a treatment that appeared to improve pregnancy rates in couples either naturally or with IVF. I read the study because a couple from New Zealand were my patients for a approximately six months when they had this procedure done and subsequently became pregnant naturally after trying for 5 or 6 years.

I was intrigued by the information in the study showing high pregnancy rates for those undergoing the procedure. But for the life of me, I could not find any physician in Australia doing the procedure consistently at that time and it seemed to fall out of favour despite the great results reported in several studies from 2002 -2007.

Recently however, a few physicians whose patients we regularly see have started using this procedure again and I am seeing great results. Pregnancies from couples who were "unexplained" and two women with a history of endometriosis have now become pregnant after years of trying.

What is the procedure? It is called the Lipiodol Flush. An iodised extract of poppyseed oil is put into the uterus and the tubes are flushed prior to a procedure or to enhance the endometrial receptivity for a natural pregnancy as well.

This procedure can be done through a hysteroscopy which would not require a patient to necessarily have a laparoscopy or go under anesthetic though each physicians protocols may vary. What is also interesting is that couples with endometriosis and unexplained fertility noted increased pregnancy rates even after the procedure. For example, within six months of receiving the treatment in comparison to couples who did not have the treatment at all there was a much higher pregnancy rate, 48% (pregnancies in couples that had the lipiodol flush) than those who did not have the treatment, 10% pregnancies. That is a very significant outcome.

Why would poppyseed extract work? No one knows really but it may make the uterus more receptive. Also I think the iodine present in the solution may help as well. Patients often have a aluggish thyroid that is overlooked because basic blood tests like TSH turn up normal even when many other symptoms show and objective finding show the thyroid may be sluggish. Iodine is an extremely important part of thyroid function so it is possible that the combination of iodine and the poppyseed oil holds the key to the great results for many after the procedure.

Whatever the reason this is definitely worth discussing with your fertility specialist. And if he or she is not doing it, you may want to ask why or find a doctor that will try it, especially if you have been diagnosed as unexplained or have had a previous history of endometriosis and the tubes are clear.

Please let me know your experience with this procedure should you have it done.